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42nd Chess Olympiad – Baku – 2016 Round 8: Sudan: 2 – Lebanon: 2

42nd Chess Olympiad – Baku – 2016

Round 8: Sudan: 2 – Lebanon: 2

Another balanced match

On board 1 Fadi Eid faced with the black pieces the experienced CM Samir Nader (2199). The Chigorin Defense was on Fadi’s agenda. May be the name of the opening has to be changed from Defense to Attack, as Fadi’s explosion of the white center at an early stage of the opening phase put his opponent’s back to the wall nearly all the time of the game, forcing him to choose the only move to stay alive. And he succeeded, as with every exchange of pair of pieces, he was approaching to stabilize the position at the cost of the loss pawn. Fadi tried hard to get profit from the presence of the opposite bishops and the extra pawn he grabbed, but without rooks on the board it was impossible to inject dynamic play in the position or provoke weakness, as Samir’s king was in the ideal position in blockading the black queen side majority. After several tries to induce mistake in White’s camp, that didn’t occur, the players signed the peace. A well-played game by both players.

On board 2, Amr El Jawich faced the Scandinavian Defense of FM AbuBaker Tagelsir (2216). AbuBaker adopted the ultra-solid Tiviakov variation, resulting in a somewhat blockading position. Although Amr has a slight space advantage, his opponent succeeded in playing a waiting game. At the issue of the first time control, in order to put some life in the game, Amr prepared an imaginative plan: a breakthrough on the king side resulted in a mass of exchanges and a rook and pawns endgame. Bu his opponent defended well, reaching again a balanced and stable position, where neither player can avoid the signature of peace.

It seems that the Sudan team has their own Abdelazeez (Mohamad Abdalla – 2183) that they put him on board 3 to face Elie Asmar, who adopted the King’s Indian Defense. It seems that some imprecise moves played by White, who adopted the Smyslov variation,  didn’t take Elie’s attention, as it seems he put the auto-pilot on (White didn’t play  Nc3, so 4..Ne4! was much better instead of the played ..d6, which is not necessary vs the Symslov setup.). Anyway, Elie equalized comfortably in the opening and, with the possession of the two bishops and an initiative on the queen side, he can face the middle game stage with optimism. But then, something strange happened: he get rid of light squares bishop and exchanged rooks which stabilized the center. May be he was planning to make a pawn grabbing battle on the queen side against his opponent. But, a stable center is a dream for a knight. After snatching the e7-pawn, the base of the black pawn chain, the knight dominated Elie’s dark squares bishop. That knight, supported by the white queen, formed a duo that attack Black’s king. After a forced exchange variation, the much advanced white passed d-pawn, and a secured king showed the defect of Black’strategy, not to mention the 2 extra white pawns. To stop his agony, Elie stopped the clocks.

On board 4, the Lebanese Abdulaziz played the Nimzo-Larsen Attack against Hassan AbuBaker Ali (2167) who adopted the stonewall setup, eying to control the central light squares. It is on those central squares that Abdelaziz attacked too early, taking the game into chaos at an early stage. In castling long he shows his aggressive intentions, especially when he sacrificed the f-pawn to gain time for his attack. The drawback of Hassan defense was his lack of development: his queen side pieces were still at their initial squares. The fantastic exchange sacrifice on e4, supported by the passed e-pawn created a dream position for any attacking player. In order to get rid of that pawn, and reduce the growing invasion of the white pieces, Black was forced to part with his bad bishop. Not wishing to see his king mated, Black resigned. A nice attacking game by the Lebanese player.

(Playing 32 Rxh6+!! would be another fantastic stroke to finish more quickly the game)

Click here to download the games of the Lebanese team.

(Photo above: at the start of Russia – USA match)

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